Alex Luebbers
Postdoctoral Associate
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Biochemistry & Cell Biology

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My primary research in the lab of Mikel Garcia-Marcos focuses on the biochemical mechanism of a recently identified, novel G protein regulator. GPCRs act as the primary activating inputs for heterotrimeric G proteins (Ga-Gbg), which then propagate signals inside the cell. These receptors are a quintessential mechanism of intercellular communication across eukaryotes and are highly druggable, evidenced by the fact that ~30% of FDA-approved drugs are targeted to GPCRs. In the neural system, GPCRs are critical metabotropic receptors for neurotransmitters, and their dysregulation is related to a vast array of neurological disorders. Despite the discovery of many medications that modulate GPCR signaling activity, the fundamental mechanisms of signaling regulation involved are not fully understood. More specifically, G protein regulation after receptor activation is known to be mediated by a complex network of cytoplasmic factors that are largely understudied.

I graduated from Emmanuel College with a B.S. in Chemistry in 2016 before working in industry at New England Biolabs as a production associate. There, I performed enzyme purification and helped to develop novel glycobiology tools for the identification and characterization of glycoconjugates. Now, I am leveraging my experience in protein biochemistry to identify the protein-structural and signaling consequences of new G protein regulators.

I joined the department of Biochemistry in 2018 after three rotations, all in the department, and immediately found a thriving environment and support system for graduate students. There was immediate mentoring in areas such as grant writing, resulting in the recent funding of my NIH F31. Connections in the department have allowed me to already begin collaborations with institutions including UMASS Amherst and the Center for Cooperative Research in Biosciences in Spain. My goal in my PhD training is to gain exposure to mass spectrometry and structural biology techniques that will allow me to learn more about the protein-protein interactions for my molecules of interest. I will also further develop my classical biochemistry and molecular biology toolkit in order to advance my research forward.


Molecular basis for the regulation of neuronal GPCR signaling by GINIP
02/01/2020 - 01/31/2023 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke
5F31NS115318-03



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Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

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  1. Janicot R, Maziarz M, Park JC, Zhao J, Luebbers A, Green E, Philibert CE, Zhang H, Layne MD, Wu JC, Garcia-Marcos M. Direct interrogation of context-dependent GPCR activity with a universal biosensor platform. Cell. 2024 Mar 14; 187(6):1527-1546.e25.View Related Profiles. PMID: 38412860; PMCID: PMC10947893; DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2024.01.028;
     
  2. Janicot R, Maziarz M, Park JC, Luebbers A, Green E, Zhao J, Philibert C, Zhang H, Layne MD, Wu JC, Garcia-Marcos M. Direct interrogation of context-dependent GPCR activity with a universal biosensor platform. bioRxiv. 2024 Jan 02.View Related Profiles. PMID: 38260348; PMCID: PMC10802303; DOI: 10.1101/2024.01.02.573921;
     
  3. Luebbers A, Gonzalez-Hernandez AJ, Zhou M, Eyles SJ, Levitz J, Garcia-Marcos M. Dissecting the molecular basis for the modulation of neurotransmitter GPCR signaling by GINIP. Structure. 2024 Jan 04; 32(1):47-59.e7.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37989308; PMCID: PMC10872408; DOI: 10.1016/j.str.2023.10.010;
     
  4. Park JC, Luebbers A, Dao M, Semeano A, Nguyen AM, Papakonstantinou MP, Broselid S, Yano H, Martemyanov KA, Garcia-Marcos M. Fine-tuning GPCR-mediated neuromodulation by biasing signaling through different G protein subunits. Mol Cell. 2023 Jul 20; 83(14):2540-2558.e12.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37390816; PMCID: PMC10527995; DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2023.06.006;
     
  5. Zhao J, DiGiacomo V, Ferreras-Gutierrez M, Dastjerdi S, Ibáñez de Opakua A, Park JC, Luebbers A, Chen Q, Beeler A, Blanco FJ, Garcia-Marcos M. Small-molecule targeting of GPCR-independent noncanonical G-protein signaling in cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023 May 02; 120(18):e2213140120.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37098067; PMCID: PMC10160980; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2213140120;
     
  6. Luebbers A, Zhou M, Eyles SJ, Garcia-Marcos M. Dissecting the molecular basis for the modulation of neurotransmitter GPCR signaling by GINIP. bioRxiv. 2023 Apr 21.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37131787; PMCID: PMC10153262; DOI: 10.1101/2023.04.20.537566;
     
  7. Zhao J, DiGiacomo V, Ferreras-Gutierrez M, Dastjerdi S, de Opakua AI, Park JC, Luebbers A, Chen Q, Beeler A, Blanco FJ, Garcia-Marcos M. Small-molecule targeting of GPCR-independent non-canonical G protein signaling inhibits cancer progression. bioRxiv. 2023 Feb 19.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36824907; PMCID: PMC9949157; DOI: 10.1101/2023.02.18.529092;
     
  8. Garcia-Marcos M, Parag-Sharma K, Marivin A, Maziarz M, Luebbers A, Nguyen LT. Optogenetic activation of heterotrimeric G-proteins by LOV2GIVe, a rationally engineered modular protein. Elife. 2020 09 16; 9.View Related Profiles. PMID: 32936073; PMCID: PMC7515630; DOI: 10.7554/eLife.60155;
     
  9. DiGiacomo V, Maziarz M, Luebbers A, Norris JM, Laksono P, Garcia-Marcos M. Probing the mutational landscape of regulators of G protein signaling proteins in cancer. Sci Signal. 2020 02 04; 13(617).View Related Profiles. PMID: 32019900; PMCID: PMC7079226; DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aax8620;
     
  10. Maziarz M, Leyme A, Marivin A, Luebbers A, Patel PP, Chen Z, Sprang SR, Garcia-Marcos M. Atypical activation of the G protein Gaq by the oncogenic mutation Q209P. J Biol Chem. 2018 12 21; 293(51):19586-19599.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30352874; PMCID: PMC6314142; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.005291;
     
Showing 10 of 12 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 12 publications over 4 distinct years, with a maximum of 5 publications in 2023

YearPublications
20183
20202
20235
20242

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